Black Friday has been and gone, and while I usually regard it as a nauseating marketing ploy, this year it’s allowed me to grab a much needed new laptop in preparation for my studies.
I did initially consider using my current office laptop for my coursework, as it would cut out the need to carry around two machines (and after 15 years of lugging heavy bags to and from the office, my back won’t tolerate much more punishment). However my work device appears to have been selected for its lack of appeal to thieves (being rather brick-like and ugly) rather than for portability, and also carries the risk that I’ll accidentally save my work onto the office drive rather than my personal – giving several thousand colleagues the chance to gawp at my half finished work!
So a new laptop it was. I spent a couple of hours reading review sites for student friendly machines, and having ploughed through the jargon, the key points boiled down to covering a few essentials…
Not too pricey
No need for top end capabilities
Lightweight but not fragile
Decent amount of memory
Good camera for Skype calls
Good battery life to avoid lugging around power cables
So with £150 off, the ACER E406MA 14″ Intel Pentium Laptop seemed like a decent punt, and appears to be robust enough to take a bit of abuse (such as being dropped, chucked around a bit, and used occasionally as a drinks tray). It doesn’t have any Microsoft office capabilities on it yet, but this will be purchased once my new student card arrives, any day now!